A history teacher of mine once described culture as “the lens through which we see the world.”
A lens colors and alters how we see the world. It can reveal to us previously hidden facets of reality, as microscopes do, or it can show us false vistas and unreal colors, as a pair of rose tinted glasses might.
And how we see the world defines how we act in it. If I see the world as a dark, brooding place bereft of the hope for happiness I will act differently than if I see it as light, airy, and full of rainbows.
However, this is only one side of the lens metaphor. Lenses are also created; they are not born fully formed, springing into existence like some optometric Athena. Real lenses are made with a constant application of heat, pressure and friction. So too with our cultural lenses, which are constantly formed and reshaped by the pressures and inspirations of voices and ideas in our wider society.
From the movies and TV we watch, to the books we read and the music we listen to, our worldviews are reinforced, challenged or changed. These works of art and culture, then, are intensely important. They have the capacity to influence everything we do, from where we live to what we eat and how we vote.
This blog is dedicated to influencing that culture, in however small a way, towards one accepting of political, individual and economic liberty.
For freedom and individual rights to flourish, they must be planted in a fertile soil of healthy respect and understanding for what they can accomplish. This soil in a society is the culture, and no culture which does not cherish freedom and the power of the individual to achieve will ever allow either to thrive.
Over the coming months this blog will explore those matters of culture, providing commentary and reviews on existing works and current events. It will also offer original works of art and literature which are grounded in the ideals and politics of liberty.
This blog does not mean to get into the arguments for and against free markets, small government and individual liberty. Those are for the economists and political theorists, and they’ve done an admirable job showing why such things are necessary to human progress and flourishing. Instead, this blog will deal with the emotional side of the argument, tapping directly into the inherent rightness of liberty.
We hope you enjoy it, and we welcome your contribution to the lens we look through.